OUR STRATEGY – THE TABLE
The primary way we discover a relationship with God, with other Christians, and with the city and world around us is through the simple act of sharing a meal. At first glance, this sounds far too elementary. I can imagine many who read this will think, “you just want us to eat together? I thought following Jesus was about carrying one’s cross, dying to self, loving the ‘least of these.’ That sort of thing.”
No doubt, these are apt descriptions of the life of Christ. However, his strategy for healing the world and making disciples centered around the practice of meal-sharing. Did you know there are only three ways the New Testament completes the sentence, “The Son of Man came…”?
“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45);
“The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10);
“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking . . .” (Luke 7:34).
The first two are statements of purpose. Why did Jesus come? He came to serve, to give his life as a ransom, to seek and save the lost. “The third is a statement of method. How did Jesus come? He came eating and drinking.” Tim Chester
Jesus’ primary way of pursuing friendship with others was by gathering around a table and sharing a meal.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day used food as a way to oppress others. They used meals as a way to determine who was excluded. The “sinful” or the poor were simply not welcome. Even the seating order around a table was determined by a person’s apparent worth or importance. In contrast to all of this, Jesus used meals as a way of including everyone. (Mt. 9:9-11)
A brief overview of Scripture reveals the importance of this metaphor of meal-sharing:
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son…”
“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” “never again will they hunger or thirst.”
So, our strategy for building life’s three key relationships is the same strategy used by Jesus Christ. He was outrageously hospitable toward everyone and offered a seat at the table to anyone willing to join in.
Discover Grace – We gather around God’s table each week.
Discover Genuine Community – We gather around one another’s tables to share in our common life. The primary environment for community at Church of the Resurrection is a small group.
Discover Purposeful Mission – we invite everyone to experience grace and community by joining us at the table.